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Spirit Bound Flesh

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Album Review

Much is to be said about musicians who are able to express themselves in extremely different forms of music with such credibility. Scott Kelly, of Bay Area nu-metalists Neurosis, is one such person. It should come as no surprise, since Kelly has been recording for nearly 15 years, that change was inevitable. And what a welcome change it is. The material on his debut solo disc for Neurosis' Neurot Recordings is quite a switch from that of his first project. He is most often known for his intense metal riffs accompanied by bone-crushing vocal delivery, but Spirit Bound Flesh sees Kelly in a much different light. Here he strums only an acoustic guitar and stretches his voice to its swelling and bitter end. This record, recorded primarily in a living room on an ADAT recorder, is a sparse masterwork that brings out a number of dark country influences, among them Merle Haggard, Hank Williams, and Johnny Cash. Though it's most likely unintentional, Spirit Bound Flesh also echoes John Cale and indie stalwarts Bill Ding. The a cappella "Sacred Heart" even taps a Tom Waits vein. For the most part, Kelly's guitar work is droney and slow, but heartfelt. Even in such a different context as Neurosis, he is still able to illustrate similar themes. This time he's honing his subtlety.

Spirit Bound Flesh, Scott Kelly
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